Why it would probably be an excellent idea to start panicking RIGHT NOW

153 – that’s what I wrote on my bathroom mirror this morning in big, blood red numbers. 153 days to go until the start of the Transcontinental #05 in Geraardsbergen. That sounds a lot, doesn’t it? But it also translates to less than 22 weeks and only about 5 months. FIVE. MONTHS. Suddenly that does not sound that long any more, especially considering the amount of preparation needed. Getting the gear, adapting the bike and obviously training. Training would obviously be a really good idea.

But what do I do? Procrastinate. Instead of planning my route I am reading bike blogs and other people’s TCR adventure stories. Instead of getting (and testing) the extra gear I need I get lost looking at online galleries of beautiful bikes on the Radavist. And instead of putting myself out there on the bike and ride I am watching six day and cyclocross races…

What should have and what is

There were big plans for training in the winter: I signed up for the gym again, even though I am not a fan of indoors. I had all intentions to extend my daily commute from a leisurely 20 minutes on my folding bike from the seventies to a good hour or two of proper riding. And of course – what I believe every cyclist plans for the winter – my regular core workouts…

I haven’t been totally lazy, have done some sessions on the trainer or in the gym, and there were a couple of days when I actually rode, even the occasional longer commute as planned. But when looking at all the hours over the winter I have probably managed to get about half a TCR-day worth of training into a week, max. HALF. A. DAY.

I just don’t get it

For some reason the full force of what I have signed up for hasn’t really hit me yet. That racing unsupported across Europe is a little more than the average spin to the ice cream place down the road. And I have tried quite a few things to drive the point home. I watched all videos about the Transcontinental (and again! Say procrastination…), I am following plenty of rider’s training on Instagram and Strava (just looking at the leaderboard in the TCR group should give me sleepless nights), I bought that red pen to write on my mirror – but I simply don’t get it. Hell, I am even blogging about it, but nothing!!

What the therapist would say

And I believe I even know the reason: Paris-Brest-Paris 2015. There’s a whole blog post or two in that idea, but the short version is this: it felt too easy. Sure it was tough, but I had no real troubles worth mentioning. Ride 620km, sleep a few hours, ride another 620km (with the occasional power nap). Plenty of fun and laughter and friends along the way, a wonderful way to spend 3 days (@74 hours I wasn’t super fast). Sounds cocky, and maybe it is – but that’s the way it felt to me (more about that here – German only unfortunately). PBP shifted my perspective. Already the preparation leading up to it did that, the 600km brevets and all the long distance riding – all of the sudden a 200km ride (300? 400??) just isn’t scary anymore, but part of the normal routine.

And even though that new perspective – that anything is possible on the bike, there is no such thing as too long – hasn’t been properly tested again since PBP I am still stuck in that mindset. And of course that is wrong. Not just because PBP cannot be compared to TCR at all, being organized and a signposted route, with the best support possible and drafting allowed. But also because fitness is obviously lost and I wouldn’t have felt that fine doing PBP without the proper training. So I know it is wrong, but I just don’t feel it!

Time to walk the talk

Now what, except complaining about it but not getting my ass off the couch?? I have about three more weeks of good excuses (work, travel) to keep training at the current low level. But then I intent to go on a long ride and suffer properly to show myself that my fitness is not what it used to be – hopefully driving home the point that I need to do more!! And starting in April I have a lot more time to ride my bike (watch this space, news coming up…) and some long distance rides and brevets planned.

I am confident that I will be fit enough to not just finish the TCR in time for the party but also to enjoy most of it along the way. Basically this off-season was like all of my off-seasons – doing only the minimum of training to not feel like a total bum. I did have serious hopes that having signed up for TCR would actually mean I train more consistently through the winter. Well, guess it didn’t…

So here’s to hoping I have enough lifetime mileage to play catch up quick enough!

Durch die weitere Nutzung der Seite stimmst du der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Weitere Informationen

Die Cookie-Einstellungen auf dieser Website sind auf "Cookies zulassen" eingestellt, um das beste Surferlebnis zu ermöglichen. Wenn du diese Website ohne Änderung der Cookie-Einstellungen verwendest oder auf "Akzeptieren" klickst, erklärst du sich damit einverstanden.